In memory of Django Reinhardt

Today we remind you on Belgian virtuoso guitar player and composer Django Reinhardt, who died on this day in 1953.

This self tought guitarist is considered first European jazzist who had major influence on jazz, which is an orignal American music form. By combining gipsy swing and a style called “jazz manouche”, he created a cultural fact of global importance.

He spent major childhood years in a Roma settlement near Paris, playing violin and guitar and performing in Paris’ dance clubs. At the age of 18 he was badly injured in a fire that broke out in his caravan, he got havily burned and wasn’t able to use two fingers of his left hand for playing after recovery.

Despite that fact, Django invented a new playing technique that was used by many jazz guitarists afterwards, it is usually called “hot jazz guitar”.

His Roma herritage was sensible in his music, strong swing was breaking out of the way he played, his sound was crystal clear and his rythm infallible. Even thought he never got any musical education, he composed and made arrangements and showed them to his musicians on the guitar.

This great musician lived near Fontainebleau, only 40 kilometers away from Paris, where he died at the age of 43 while he was fishing on Siena river.

“Nuages” (French: clouds) is one of his best known compositions. He recorded it few dozen times and every single one reveals his ubelievable improviastional talent that made this track recognizable by the first tacts but also completely different and exciting with every new performing.

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